Clements Aims To Make Early Impact at USC
Gamecock Anthem Radio made its much anticipated debut on 90.5 WUSC FM in Columbia on Thursday morning. As the only radio show in the state of South Carolina that offers "All Gamecock talk, all the time," Gamecock Anthem Radio is the perfect show to help USC fans get their Gamecock fix, especially during the summer months when football deprivation begins to set in. Be sure to tune in every Wednesday morning from 8-12 throughout the summer to hear great interviews like the one below and enjoy in depth discussion on South Carolina football, recruiting, baseball and much more. To learn more about Gamecock Anthem Radio, click here: LINK
Interview with 2007 wide receiver signee Matt Clements:
Question: I know a lot of Gamecock fans are excited about seeing you out on the field this season. Can you give our listeners a glimpse of what they can expect in the fall? What strengths would you say you bring to the football field as a wide receiver?
Answer: When I get there in the fall, I'm just looking to bring my ‘A' game and give 110-percent at whatever it is I do. I think that I have a lot to show as far as my speed and my hands. I really want to show people that I can get up there and block too and do some of the dirty work that maybe some of their (other) receivers don't really do as well or as much. So when I get up there, I'm just going to play hard nosed football.
Question: A big question on Gamecock fans' minds right now is who will step up to help fill the void left by Sidney Rice at the wide receiver position. What have the South Carolina coaches told you about the possibility of seeing the field and earning early playing time this fall?
Answer: Basically it's just going to be whoever works the hardest. This is a great wide receiver class coming in this year, so it's just going to be whoever goes up there and works the hardest that‘s going to be in the rotation to be playing. Hopefully it's going to be me because I know that I'm just going to go in there and give everything I've got and give my all. So hopefully they can see me on the field in the fall.
Question: You can do some pretty impressive things out there on the football field. Is there any player that you tend to model your game after?
Answer: Not really. I mean, Reggie Bush is my favorite player. I wore #5 in high school just because I wanted people to see my speed, and I know that he was pretty fast. He's just a phenomenal athlete, so I guess if I had to model it after one player it'd probably have to be him as far as me getting in the open field and making plays and making people miss and just being an athlete.
Question: I know you must be excited about taking your game to the next level and competing in what is easily the best football conference in college football in the SEC. With that in mind, what kind of personal goals have you set for yourself in your upcoming freshman season?
Answer: If I go in, and I do the things I know I can do, I just want to be the best receiver that USC has brought in. I know that there's going to be a lot of competition and a lot of people pushing me, and I think that is what's going to make me strive to be the best. When I get there, I'm just going to hopefully get in there and do my thing and give the fans a show.
Question: One of the new rules in college football allows freshmen like yourself to get a head start and join the team workouts in the second session of summer school. When do you actually plan on arriving at USC and beginning working out with the team?
Answer: From what I've heard from the coaches, they want me up there between the 5th and the 10th of July. Hopefully after Independence Day I'll be up there ASAP just so I can start working out with them.
Question: What are you doing in between now and when you arrive at USC in early July to gear up for the 2007 season?
Answer: As of right now I'm working out and lifting four to five days a week, and I'm running five to six days (a week). That's all I'm really doing right now, just preparing myself and eating right and doing the right things, because I know that as soon as I get up there it's going to be hard. No matter how hard I work right now, I know it's probably going to be five or ten times harder when I get up there. I'm just trying to prepare myself right now a little bit.
Question: Speaking of that, has anyone told you what to expect with USC's strength and conditioning program under Mark Smith? I hear those workouts can be pretty intense.
Answer: Yeah, when I went up there on my visit, he told me that they work out pretty hard. They lift pretty hard, and they're going to do a lot of running. Just from what he's told me, it sounds like he's going to have us busting it. Hopefully I can be prepared, but at the same time, you never know because college is a whole different level from high school and even just working out by myself or with a few of my peers. I mean that's why I'm just trying to work out hard now, because I know it's going to be just that much harder as soon as I get up there.
Question: You mentioned that one of your biggest assets on the football field is your speed, and I know that you've excelled both on the track and on the football field with your speed, but just exactly how fast are you. What's your best forty yard dash time that you've recorded?
Answer: The best forty yard dash I've had was a 4.32 so far. I've got a little bit of speed that I can play with.
Question: If you don't mind, let's take a quick look back at the recruiting process and how that went for you. I know you had offers from major programs like Ohio State, West Virginia, Auburn, Pittsburgh, and several others, but what was it about South Carolina that stood out to you and helped you decide to commit to the Gamecocks back last October?
Answer: First of all, they're in the best conference in college football, which is the SEC. So I know I'm going to be playing against good competition week in and week out. Another thing is I want to be a part of a program that's trying to turn itself around and getting on the right path. They're bringing in some good guys, and I saw that they were recruiting some pretty good guys. Our wide receiver class is number one in the nation, and we're bringing in some good backs like Brian Maddox and some pretty good DB's and stuff. I just wanted to be a part of a really good recruiting class, and hopefully we'll be the first South Carolina team to do some things. That was really some of the reasons why I decided to go there.
Question: You were one of USC's earlier commitments in the 2007 class, so how special was it for you to see how that class came together to become arguably the best class in the history of South Carolina football?
Answer: It was great. I know that I did commit pretty early, but just being up there, I knew that once the other guys took their visits, they'd probably want to commit too because the feeling up there is just incredible. The fans give you so much support, and it's just great to have a bunch of people behind you. To see how everything turned out as far as our standing recruiting-wise in the nation, it was really good.
Question: Have you gotten to know any of your fellow 2007 signees that will be joining you in Columbia this fall?
Answer: Not too much. I mean, I might MySpace Stephen Garcia every now and then or something or shoot Brian Maddox a text message, but I haven't really gotten to know them on a personal level right now, so I'm just waiting until I get up there to hopefully make some friends and some friendships for life. I'm just waiting to see how things go as soon as I get up there and start talking to them all.
Question: Okay, let's get back to the 2007 season here. When you look at South Carolina's 2007 schedule, is there a certain game that stands out to you where you just say, ‘I can't wait to play against them?'
Answer: Honestly, I just can't wait to play everybody. I just want to get on the field, but the fact that we lost to Florida by a point this year, I want to play them. I mean we beat them a couple years ago and then we lose to them this year, but I just want to get out there and play everybody to tell you the truth. It doesn't really matter. Anybody that wants to come and play against South Carolina is fair game. I'm going to give it my all no matter who we play.
Question: An exciting topic with incoming players like yourself is what jersey number you're going to be wearing. Do you by chance know what jersey number you'd like to wear this fall?
Answer: I was thinking about maybe switching it up a little bit from my high school days and maybe wearing #17, but I don't know. The coaches told me that I could get my #5, but Carlos Thomas has that right now. They said that was cool because he was on defense, but I'm not really sure. I might switch it up a little bit and go with #17 this season if it's possible.
Question: Speaking of jerseys, what are your thoughts on South Carolina's new Under Armour uniforms that they plan to wear this season?
Answer: I thought they were pretty cool when I saw them at the spring game. I was watching the spring game on TV, and I could picture myself wearing something as pretty as that. I like them a lot.
Question: I know right now everyone is excited about the direction of the South Carolina program under Steve Spurrier and the ability to do things that have never been done before in Columbia like win an SEC Championship and possibly even contend for a national championship. How excited are you about coming into a situation like that where you can be a part of something special and help USC reach those goals?
Answer: I'm really excited, because like I said before, I want to be a part of something that hasn't been done before and be the first to do it. The fact that I can go in there and be a part of it and hopefully go in there and win some SEC Championships, it's honestly an honor. And to play for Coach Spurrier, it's just something that a lot of people don't get to say that they do, so it's great because he's a living legend. The fact that I actually have the opportunity to go up there and do it is just overwhelming for me.
Question: Final question for you, Matt. Obviously the Gamecock Nation is excited about you arriving in Columbia in the next few months here. Is there any message you'd like to pass on to the South Carolina fans before you go?
Answer: Just get ready, because I know me personally, I'm going to give them a show and give them what they come to see as soon as I get on the field. I think the other guys are going to do the same, so just tell them to get ready for some things that they didn't think were possible or nobody else thought was possible. We're just going to shock the world and shock the nation and just go out there and play as hard as we can to win some ball games and hopefully some SEC Championships. So just be prepared.
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